Fearlessly Shine in 2017!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I’m a few days late and a few days early on the holiday greetings!  I woke up to a quiet house grabbed some coffee and thought I would do a little reflection of 2016 and looking forward into 2017 before my house gets crazy!  We have family staying from Nebraska and together we are a wild and rowdy bunch!

Last December, for the first time I jumped on the “Word of the Year” train instead of doing New Years Resolutions.  Epic decision that brought amazing results!  I set out to pick a word for 2016 that would help influence my decisions, motivation, attitude…basically all things personal and professional.  The word FEARLESS popped up over and over.  So FEARLESS it was!  Which also led to the the tagline for my business.  Live Fearless…Be Epic which definitely had to start with me.  I have spent an entire year being pushed and pulled out of my comfort zone, taking risks, completing a ton of “firsts” in my business and trying not to back down or run the other way even when I was scared or insecurity creeped in.  It was important for me to surround myself with peeps that knew what I had set out to do, so they could hold me accountable, encourage and remind me of my goals. They did not disappoint! This was also a game changer for me…seriously grab an accountability person for the new year!

So now it’s almost 2017 and I have been on the search for the perfect word for a couple months and there is a little bit of pressure, because I feel like I knocked it out of the park on the first round.  For months the word SHINE has been everywhere as I was  focusing on where I wanted to go in 2017.  I want to build upon the momentum I had already created and SHINE fits perfectly.  It is time for me to step into the beauty of what I accomplished this past year and take it to the next level.

So in 2017 it’s time to SHINE!  The first way I am going to focus on this word is to be more present and prepared right out of the gates in the new year.  That is a perfectly SHINY way to begin the new year!  I would love for you to ditch the New Years Resolutions with me and focus on a Word of the Year and SHINE! So what will your word of the year be?

Live Fearless…Be Epic and SHINE!!!

Tracey

 

 

A Finish Line Worth Crossing

Ever get one of those AMAZING ideas that sound so great at the time that you just have to do it? I had one of those recently. I was living in the glorious space of possibility until the rubber hit the road and I realized I may have been slightly (or a lot) crazy. I am the poster child for leaping into an adventure before totally thinking it through.

Last winter I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon. That is 26.2 miles of running, in case you wondered just how far that is. Honestly, as I type that I am wondering why that EVER sounded like a good idea. Anyway, fast-forward through snow and cold weather that I didn’t want to train in, relentless hip issues, physical therapy, and the TIME it was taking to train at a much much slower pace, I finally had to come to grips in early July that this marathon was NOT going to happen.

This was devastating for multiple reasons. (Except the part where I no longer had to run in pain—that part was a relief!)

1. The race is on my Dad’s birthday and he passed away from heart issues at the age of 39 and I wanted to honor him by being ❤️healthy and doing something EPIC on his birthday.

2. It’s the 35th anniversary of the Twin Cities Marathon so the swag will be awesome. Who doesn’t love swag? Or being part of a race event with 30K people! Totally Epic!

3. I wanted to show my kids what amazing things you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. I wanted them to see me be disciplined, persevere and, to be honest, I want them to be proud of me for doing something amazing and hard.

4. I needed to be more consistent with working out and this was definitely going to do it.

5. Did I mention I’d get a medal and finisher shirt? I have the finish line, and me crossing it, pictured very clearly in my mind.

It probably sounds crazy but that swag means something to me. I admire anyone I see wearing a marathon finisher shirt. I have finished two full marathons (12 & 13 years ago) and the grit it takes to train and accomplish 26.2 miles inspires me. I was also 13 years younger and single at the time. That also means something! 😂 Life is busy!

So here’s the unexpected lesson I learned in this whole adventure once I accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to run the race. Reframing a goal sometimes turns out way more amazing than we ever expected. Mid-July an unexpected opportunity to run the TC 10-mile race opened up, it’s part of the TC Marathon events and wait for it … I get a medal and finisher shirt!

Instead of showing my 6- and 8-year-old girls my grit, discipline and perseverance and training all alone, they got to train with me. They rode their bikes and were my “coaches” along the route. We blasted music from a Bluetooth speaker in the basket on their bikes and made an adventure out of it. The runs were shorter and took less time and reduced the stress on me, my schedule and most importantly my hip.

Best part, I am still honoring my Dad on his birthday and doing something heart-healthy. Ten miles is a great accomplishment and totally doable for me. I listened to the limits I needed to set for my schedule and my health. That in itself is a victory. I am great at helping others set boundaries, but sometimes I am still a work in progress.

I started this adventure with the desire for a medal and crossing a finish line as my goal, always thinking that receiving the medal would be the biggest accomplishment. But in actuality, it was my discovery in the process, the relationship-building with my daughters and the journey that has become the most valuable.  That’s a finish line worth crossing.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m still all about earning and wearing the medal this Sunday.  It feels great to know that I have already accomplished more than my original goal and that some finish lines are not on race day.  I hope you when life presents you with a race you can take a step back and enjoy the journey and all it will teach you.

Live Fearless…Be Epic!

Tracey

Freedom Friday

A little Friday Winnspiration….

It’s Freedom Friday! Sounds enticing doesn’t it? Freedom Friday has definitely become my favorite part of the week. Earlier this year I began implementing Freedom Fridays in my business as an incentive. Basically, it’s my own reward for following through and doing all of the things I put off or avoid or push to the back burner during the week because they aren’t the sexy business things I like to do. It’s just like scrubbing my toilets or kitchen floors. There’s nothing sexy about that, but they must be done. Oh, but I do like the 30 seconds when the floor is squeaky clean before my kids or dog slime it up again!

Just so you know, the path to Freedom Friday is littered with FROGS. Friday mornings I grab a cup of coffee and I “eat those frogs” I’ve been avoiding. Whoa! I know, right? You were thinking, “Tracey, maybe try an almond croissant or a chocolate chip scone instead of a nasty FROG!” Totally agree, but In business — as in life — there are certain things (or FROGS) we push off or push back on. In our minds they are a pain, hard, uncomfortable, time suckers, and my list of excuses to avoid them can go on and on. (Feel free to insert your excuses here.) Kinda like eating a frog. Seriously.  Just the thought of eating a frog is not enjoyable. Although I have it on good authority that frog legs taste just like chicken. Or straight sugar…like this sweet frog below.  So Friday mornings it’s down the hatch with those FROGS!

Once I tackle the FROGS I feel so much freedom! I no longer hold the mental space for the things undone and hanging over me. The time I spent dreading and avoiding NEVER turns out to be as bad as I created it in my mind when I just do it. Focussing on the loose ends and unpleasant tasks allows me not to take those with me into the weekend or into my next week. This is a game changer!

The reason I push through is to have the freedom to dream, plan, and research things that will move my business forward. Sometimes it also looks like taking care of myself and I have a grown-up play date with girlfriends and the freedom to enjoy life and those I love on a friday afternoon.

We all have the things we’ve been avoiding or intending to start that would make our lives a little easier. It might be a hard conversation, lacing up your sneakers, creating a budget, or planning a date night with your significant other or BFF that is LONG overdue. You just have to do it. You are so worth it!

How could you implement Freedom Friday into your week? I would love to hear your ideas.

Live Fearless…Be Epic!
Tracey

Embracing the Un-Comfort Zone

TRACEY

Here to comfort the afflicted &
afflict the comfortable.

This sign was posted anonymously on my office door one day when I walked into work. Go ahead and read that again. I know right?! Is it a compliment? Yes! I soooooo love that someone sees me this way and stuck this to my door. It was also cause for a quick pause to replay recent events. I stood there trying to remember who I may have afflicted or comforted. Maybe it was a little of both? With pride, I’m taking this crazy awesome compliment and owning this unique quality someone sees in me.

For me, supporting others out of their comfort zone is definitely a process. Occasionally it might even feel like a push—gently of course. Just a little love shove to get someone who may be stuck to move forward. If you have been around me you also know that for my tribe, I will comfort and fiercely stand by you in the middle of a storm. That is for sure one of my superpowers. #ineedacape

So, as a career coach and consultant, being good at this “getting out of your comfort zone” stuff should come easy peasy for me personally, too, right?! Yet it seems that when I am faced with the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, my first instinct is to run, hide or basically play dead! Yep, not even going to pretend.

I love imposing challenge and growth on others, but it’s not so fun when it’s all about my growth. This past week I traveled to California to become a better speaker and craft my message. What I learned during that time stretched me beyond what I had imagined. I was inspired to do a number of new things in my business that are scary, exciting and TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. As an added bonus, I got a gentle love shove to do things differently in my personal life as well!

Here’s the deal, if I don’t take this leap and stand right in the middle of the Un-Comfort Zone, I am going to miss the good stuff. I know this because I carry around a bucket full of 20/20 hindsight that reminds me of when I have let fear, excuses, finances, timing, comparison (I could list soooo many more, but you get the point) keep me stuck in the past and steal my momentum forward.

Where the magic happensSo today, I am embracing the Un-Comfort Zone and stepping into possibility with a plan. I couldn’t be more excited to move forward with a bigger vision and embrace the opportunities right in front of me. I truly believe, for you and for me, that the magic happens when we are taken out of our comfort zone. That is the secret sauce!

I’m committing to hanging out in this Un-Comfort Zone and working hard to be fearless and live epically! Consider now  where you need to step out of your comfort zone and into the Un-Comfort Zone. I would love to hear about it.

Live Fearless. Be Epic.

 

Tracey

Just Pause

You know that phrase…Beauty from Ashes?  What does that even mean?  Why does it feel so patronizing sometimes?  Well meaning people tell you to embrace that sentiment when you are standing in the hot embers of the fire that just burned down some area of your life or your dreams.  Or even worse, knowing that you burned it down all on your own.  Yep, I play with matches.  Never a fun reality!  It’s so much easier to see the beauty when you’re standing far away from the heat of the fire and the hurt.  Experiencing the Beauty from Ashes is a matter of timing and perspective for sure.  I wholeheartedly believe that beautiful things rise up out of the ashes of the hard, and sometimes downright brutal, parts of life.  It just takes time, restoration is a process.

Beauty from Ashes was a topic that wove itself into numerous conversations for me this week.    When the same topic pops up 7 times (literally!) you have to pay attention.  I did something out of the ordinary for me, I simply paused.  Being still is not my strength, but when I do…it NEVER disappoints.   There is great power in pausing, to simply sit with your thoughts and shut out distractions.  I took time to soak in the significant lessons and blessings that surfaced after the brutal parts of my life.  Fortunately, unfortunately there was plenty to reflect on.

I went on the hunt for my journal, dusted it off and started writing.  The journalling pause is a hard one for me, I would rather just talk and analyze.  Shocker, I know!  Seeing the words on the page changes things.  What seemed to be the worst possible things at the time, revealed a bold pattern of grace over and over.  Some of the best things rose up as a result of those ashes.  I saw courage, inner strength, and how hard I worked to restore and grow over the years. Also, there were so many blessings and opportunities that I never could have dreamed of as a result.  I wanted these reflections to be all rainbows and sunshine and perfectly resolved on the page.  That’s the irony of pausing, it also revealed places that are still very tender and waiting for the beauty to be revealed.  I was humbled to see that in ALL things God is Good and Faithful.  I saw how I have been refined in this process of Beauty from Ashes time and time again.

What would be revealed if you took a quiet moment to pause?  Would you see that some of the worst days were actually turned into beautiful blessings?  It is incredibly brave, and honestly a little vulnerable, to look back on the hard times seeking out the Beauty from Ashes.  Finding perspective and gratitude through these circumstances will also bring healing, reveal strength, and so much more.  There is Power in the Pause!

Live Fearless, Be Epic!

Tracey

What Are You Thinking About?

Good Afternoon!

Recently I heard a speaker say,

“What you think about determines the quality of your life.”                                            

That sentence has been swimming around in my brain all jumbled up like a pile of spaghetti.  I have been thinking about the thoughts that empower, encourage, exhaust, bring  gratitude, and the list goes on and on. Like I said, a big pile of spaghetti!  So I decided to take stock and ask myself, “What do my thoughts convey about the quality of my life?” It seems like the perfect opportunity to follow that question with a brilliant revelation that my thoughts are in a constant state of gratitude and keep me highly motivated 24/7! Oh and I am ALWAYS a ray of sunshine!   You can totally laugh, but not too hard since I am mostly like that. Mostly…😊

In the new year, my thoughts were focused (ok slightly obsessed) on living out my word of 2016, which is FEARLESS.  Over and over I have needed to look fear in the eye as I push through my self-imposed barriers and excuses.  For me, those courageous thoughts created momentum and I felt unstoppable.  It’s now the middle of March and the momentum has slowed down and things don’t look as  FEARLESS, they look more comfortable and safe.  I continue to push through on my goals, but something switched and I am taking minimal risks, and it feels a bit boring.  I am convicted over and over that our thoughts, especially the limiting ones, are the biggest hurdle we encounter when we go after our goals and dreams.

In order to Live Fearless and Be Epic, which is my desire, I need to trust that I won’t fall flat on my face and take the risks that come my way.  I also realized that I have to continuously keep the thoughts that scare me or hold me back in perspective and not let them run the show.  If I don’t take them captive then fear holds me captive.  Which is the opposite of living life FEARLESS!  I also know that if I do fall flat on my face, I am an expert at getting back up and moving forward as it may have happened 1 or 1,000 times before.  Just sayin’

Taking time to pay attention to my thoughts and what it reveals about the quality of my life was a great exercise to make me pause and assess.  I realized, daily I get to be in charge of my thoughts and the power they have to create the momentum and the desired joy in my life.  I also get to choose what swims around in my mind and how much power it has over me.  I will continue to nurture the thoughts that allow me push through and live fearless, be grateful, and content and let go of the ones that don’t.  Today is St. Patrick’s Day and basking in that reality seems like a very lucky space to be in .

Blessings,

Tracey

 

 

FEARLESS Resolutions for 2016!

It’s  December 31st and it’s time (possibly past time) to talk about resolutions, goals, and all the amazing things that will be different in 2016! I have been thinking about the new year and all the possibilities for weeks now! I am confident that 2016 is going to be epic!

I did a little research and found out that 25% of people quit on their resolutions before the end of week one and 70% of people abandon their Resolutions by January 31st.  Only 8% of people achieve their New Years Resolutions?!?!  Doesn’t that get you motivated to set a few resolutions and goals for 2016? I know these should be shocking stats, but they aren’t.  Truthfully I may not bail during week one, but many times I quit by the end of January on a few.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time setting personal resolutions and goals to solve problems and “fix things” assuming it would bring the perfect life.  You know the kind of life that is easy and problem free!  Too bad that doesn’t exist and honestly what fun would that be?  Topping my resolution list was always to lose weight, be more organized, exercise more (or at all) and the list goes on and on looking similar year after year.  I have also made business resolutions or goals in response to comparing my business to what others were doing and achieving. The problem is that those resolutions & goals didn’t inspire me or connect to the vision for my business.  I was stuck in comparison and that is never effective in creating the results I want personally or professionally. So in 2016 I am putting a new spin on my resolutions. I’m not doing it! 

Yep that’s right the queen of goals is not doing it!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE goals and everything about them, but this year I am changing it up! I am not making a long list of goals for every area of my life and business.  In 2016 I am going to focus on one word that will be the driver and concept that I hold everything up against for the entire year.

Drumroll Pleeeease, My word for 2016 is….

FEARLESS!

I have been playing with a handful of words for weeks but FEARLESS continues to be the word that inspires me, draws me into possibility,  and guarantees to push me out of my comfort zone over and over!  So for 2016 I have one great goal, that all the other ones will flow from  in my personal, professional and spiritual life…I will be FEARLESS.

What will your word of 2016 be?  I would love to hear it!

Happy New Year!

Blessings, Tracey

Reflections, Roots & Risks

It is very early Monday morning or as I like to call it O’ Dark Thirty, my children and the sun are all still sleeping. I turn on my Christmas tree lights, grab a cup of coffee and snuggly blanket and I sit quietly in this space. Truthfully, I’m resisting the urge to turn on the news or check Facebook quick. Instead, I’m closing out Thanksgiving weekend reflecting on this past year. I want to do this before the hustle of the Christmas season takes over and I can only give it a token 10ish min. on NYE. I’m a hard core believer in the power that reflection and gratitude has on our daily lives. Being still and letting things settle in isn’t always easy for me, it’s the still part that gets me, I’m just distracted so easily. Friends, the struggle is real!

I shut out the distractions and focus on being still. It is peaceful, much needed and easier than I expected. On a Monday morning that says a lot! I don’t have to reflect much to know it has been one of those years. It is marked by events that shaped me in ways I could not have anticipated. I experienced brokenness and the loss of core people that consumed my heart and reminded me, once again, that life is so precious. It brought the unwanted conviction to live each day a little differently…More Fully.

There has also been incredible joy and blessings offsetting the sorrow. Others having my back, is completely an understatement over this past year. This abundant love wrapped over my heart, creating a new strength that has left me a little overwhelmed. This is where I publicly pledge my fierce love and loyalty to my sweet family, friends and soul sisters! My framily rocks! (just incase you thought I can’t spell…friends + family=framily)

This year has also taken me by surprise, I had no idea I would be nurturing new roots of growth and risk in my business. My established roots of faith, life experience, and of course all the framily love has helped me to heal, stand strong, and brought the confidence needed to take on new adventures. I believe that if you want an extraordinary life it means taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. I had been playing it safe for a long time. As a life coach it is so much easier to help others do the uncomfortable intentional work. Who knew imposing it on myself would be so empowering and intoxicating!

I have spent a lot of time figuring out who I am in light of the ups and downs this year. I see snapshots of me processing over coffee, on walks, on the phone…pretty much to anyone that would listen! It has become clear in conversation and in my quiet time, that this been a year of authentic grieving, healing, establishing new roots and taking risks.

Yesterday I heard a message about waiting. I realize I kept waiting for the right time to completely go after what I love. I have been observing it rather than experiencing it. I want to wait in humble anticipation for the things that matter. The things that transform our hearts and lives. Those things that are a work in progress and are worth the wait.

This is my plan for each day in December and beyond, to experience life as it happens. To talk a little less and listen to that still small voice a little more. I’m done waiting because I am stuck in insecurity, waiting for the right timing, healing to be complete, my jeans to fit better and on and on the excuses go.

It is now hours later and I am once again sitting here in the quiet reflecting as I finish this post.  (If you are counting, that is two times in one day! Who knew I could pull that off!…FYI the quiet ends in 9 minutes when the bus arrives!)  I am convicted and determined to be fearless in this new year.  I don’t just want an extraordinary life, I have an extraordinary life with all its ups and downs!

Blessings! Tracey

Finding Inspiration

About a month ago I shared with my mentor that I am struggling to figure out a few things.  She asked me to spend a whole month with one goal…to pay attention and listen to my heart each day as I was seeking clarity.  That seemed easy enough, but I wasn’t prepared for all that this simple task would reveal to me, when I slowed down and began to truly listen.  Actually the first obstacle was that I had to slow down and pay attention to my heart! Which means less talking and more listening.  Throughout the month I discovered places that were wounded, grieving, struggling, as well as amazing things like gratitude, joy, deep love, justice, passion to create change, and the list goes on and on.  I am just beginning to understand the profound task I was given.

I will admit that paying attention to my heart is going much better than my journalling about it.  This past weekend brought a new insight about taking time to purposely nurture the parts of my heart that inspire me.  It was something that I had not payed much attention to.  I was invited to a dinner party in Minneapolis.  I have a deep love for this city and driving in I started to breathe a little deeper as I began to soak it all in.  It is a place that my heart beats just a little different and I feels alive in a way that is hard to explain.  Graciously, Siri took me right to the dinner party without any rerouting.  As I walked onto the big enclosed front porch, I noticed a couch that instantly transported me through time to endless summer nights and in-depth conversations with girlfriends.  Back then I only had myself to consider so it was a time of discovery and taking risks.  I was just beginning to figure out who I was and all the possibilities that were in store for me. This time of searching, trial and error and many triumphs laid foundations for my life as I know it now.  What a great thought of all I have experienced since then to flash across my mind.

I was welcomed inside and I drank in the amazing character displayed in the woodwork and the decor of the home.  Total Urban Bliss!  I quickly realized that I was the first to arrive at the party, where I really only knew one person and she was late due the unfortunate rerouting of Siri.  As the other women arrived, for those of us new to the group, there were introductions, hugs and an instant bond over the one person we all adore.  There was an ease in conversation as we enjoyed great food and wine.  Throughout the night those conversations brought insights into each person as little slices of their stories were revealed.  For me that is even more fabulous and rejuvenating than the good food…

I learned that night that returning to the city and filling that urban part of my heart was definitely my happy place, but also it is essential for my heart to be around strong women enabling me to grow from the incredible power in our stories and experiences.  These women left an impression on my heart.  I was inspired by hearing the passion and guts it takes to pave new industry roads by taking risks.  I learned from the stories of sacrifice, love, the lessons we teach our children, and finding order in a world that isn’t so orderly.  It was the great value I received by taking time to relax and unplug allowing me to truly be present.  In the past few days, as I have thought about these women and being inspired, I realized that this inspiration was playing out in my week and how I was approaching things.  For me inspiration always brings a challenge to grow and the opportunity to live life more fully.

Take some time today (or try 30 days!) to unplug and listen to what your heart is telling you.  You may find some inspiration, unexpected healing, challenge and even some new growth!

Enjoy!

Tracey

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